These tips will help you to feel more confident at work

Most people will suffer from a lack of confidence at work at some time

Perhaps they are being undermined by a colleague, have been knocked back for a promotion, feel they are out of their depth after being promoted, or are simply starting a new job. How can they feel more confident?

Fake it until you make it

Science has shown that the way in which you present yourself can affect how confident you feel. Firstly, you should dress to impress. Make sure your work clothes make a statement about who you are and your role at work.

Buy the best-quality clothes, shoes and accessories that you can afford. If money is an issue, you can get quality secondhand clothes at charity shops or online through Facebook groups, for example. Think how a confident and successful role model would look and dress accordingly.

In addition to your clothes, you should look confident by sitting or standing up straight. This can boost testosterone and lower cortisol levels; in turn, this will boost self-confidence, according to social psychology professor Amy Cuddy. Smiling also makes you look confident and composed and can have the knock-on effect of actually making you feel happier and more relaxed.

Get into the habit of setting a routine

If you look at successful athletes, many have a ritual they follow before a game or competition; for example, this could be putting their right sock on before their left. Research shows that performing rituals can boost your confidence and put you in the right frame of mind.

You may want to find your ‘anthem’ or ‘power song’ to play while you are doing this. Research shows that music can make you feel powerful, as it can convey a message to you. When looking for your tune, choose a song with a strong bass line for the most impact.

Take up exercise or sport

You could also emulate athletes or sports people by taking up exercise. A report in Science Daily says researchers have found that people who exercise regularly are more confident they can manage their life-work balance and are less likely to be stressed at work. Taking up a team sport can also build confidence as you learn new skills and interact with other individuals.

Build on strengths and weaknesses

Nobody is perfect, so it is important to identify your strong points and build on them; likewise, list your weaker areas and find ways to improve them through extra training or work around them. Concentrate on your strengths but be aware of your weaker areas so they don’t bring you down. The best thing to do is to believe in yourself, as this will help you to feel strong and valued in the workplace.

Don’t listen to office gossip

The important thing is to stay focused on yourself and your goals. Office politics and rumours can be fun to listen to but they are non-productive and can even be counter-productive.

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